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such items as a cropdusting plane, data proc-
essing machines, a tire-recapping machine,
and an electronic "car doctor."

The magazine quotes one American official
as saying, "They try to do everything here
with one pair of pliers. When we showed
them 20 different kinds of pliers, not to men-
tion all those screwdrivers — well, my God."

In less than 2 weeks the pavilion had
attracted 650,000 people, three times the
population of the city.

At the most specific level, the enlarged
trade would give us the influence to secure
satisfactoiy economic concessions, such as
patent protections or trade and tourist pro-
motion offices or assurances concerning arbi-
tration of commercial disputes.

Reassertjon of National Identities

A larger benefit relates to the continuing
movement of these countries away from the
rigidities of the past. Politically, they are
reasserting their national identities. Eco-
nomically, they are turning increasingly
away from centralized direction and increas-
ingly toward greater use of the profit incen-

Yugoslavia is the model example. After
breaking away from the Cominform in 1948,
Yugoslavia began economic decentralization,
giving considerable autonomy to individual
enterprises. This has continued to the point
that Yugoslavia is now a member of the great
international economic institutions like the
World Bank, GATT [General Agreement on
Tariffs and Trade], and the International
Monetary Fund.

This change is not isolated. Almost all the
countries of Eastern Europe are working to
overcome the clumsiness and inefficiencies of
overcentralized economic direction.

Next January 1 Czechoslovakia embarks on
a major economic reform program placing
new responsibilities on the plant managers
and placing new stress on the market and the
price system in determining the success or
failure of individual enterprises.

A year later Hungary is scheduled to put
even more radical changes into effect. New
experiments are underway in Bulgaria and
Poland. And you are familiar with the experi-
ments in using the profit motive underway in
the Soviet Union.

In most of these countries efficiency is re-
placing ideology as the guide in economic
matters, and the demands of the ordinary
consumer for more goods and a better stand-
ard of living are being listened to with new

What is most striking in this process of
change is that in no two Eastern European
countries are the changes identical. Each is
going its own way, reflecting growing feel-
ings of national identity and independence
which are coming to the surface throughout
the area.

But by acting on these changes, we can
advance our own interests and advance the
prospects of peace. Through trade we can
encourage them to rebuild their historical
friendly ties to the West. Through trade we
can increase their contacts with American
businessmen — and tourists. Through trade
we can encourage their participation in inter-
national institutions— and international re-
sponsibilities. Through trade we can increase
their stake in peaceful relations with the

And, finally, basic to all of these benefits
is our demonstration of faith in the strength
of the free society. We do not fear the tests
to which the future will put such a society.
We have not sought to seal it behind an Iron
Curtain or a Berlin wall — nor should we seal
it behind a rigid tariff blockade.

That blockade should be removed. On
behalf of good business, good policy, and good
sense I invite and welcome your support.

JANUARY 2, 1967

East-West Relations: Shaping a Stable World

by Foy D. Kohler

Deputy Under Secretary for Political Affairs i

I am glad to be with you today. It seems
very appropriate to me that my first appear-
ance outside of Washington since my return
from the Soviet Union should be in Florida,
for it is the State my wife and I are in the
process of adopting, having originated, re-
spectively, in North Carolina and Ohio. This
background, I take it, will make us feel very
much at home among our fellow Floridians.

Just a few weeks ago, we returned from
Moscow after living there for nearly 41/2
years. Maybe as a result of that experience
and of previous assignments in Eastern Eu-
rope, I can cast some light for you on the
problems of East-West relations, a subject
which is vital — I was about to say a matter
of life and death — to all of us.

A century ago a voyage to Russia con-
sumed months. When we came back by com-
bination of plane and ship it took us 7 days.
When direct air communications are estab-
lished next year, a flight from Moscow to
New York will take about 8 hours. But even
today a missile can make it in 30 minutes.

For a good many years American Presi-
dents have been concerned that the traffic
between these two particular points on the
globe should go by sea and land and in the
atmosphere, rather than on a ballistic trajec-
tory through space. I have had the privilege
of working with several administrations —
with President Eisenhower, with President
Kennedy, with President Johnson — on this

' Made before the Florida Department of the
American Legion at Orlando, Fla., on Dec. 11 (press
release 290 dated Dec. 10).

question. I found that each of these Presi-
dents, looking at the problem from the point
of view of the national interest, of the well-
being and security of all Americans, came to
hold essentially the same views and reached
essentially the same conclusions. The policies
which have issued from their profound con-
sideration of how to insure a peaceful world
have been set forth by all of them, most
recently, of course, by President Johnson.

Speaking last August at the National Re-
actor Testing Center for the Atomic Energy
Commission at Idaho Falls, the President,
after hailing the peaceful potential of atomic
power, said: ^

But there is another — and a darker — side of the
nuclear age that we should never forget. That is
the danger of destruction by nuclear weapons.

. . . uneasy is the peace that wears a nuclear
crown. And we cannot be satisfied with a situation
in which the world is capable of extinction in a
moment of error, or madness, or anger. . . .

Since 1945, we have opposed Communist efforts
to bring about a Communist-dominated world. We
did so because our conviction and our interests de-
manded it; and we shall continue to do so.

But we have never sought war or the destruction
of the Soviet Union; indeed, we have sought in-
stead to increase our knowledge and our under-
standing of the Russian people with whom we share
a common feeling for life, a love of song and story,
and a sense of the land's vast promises.

After talking of our differences with the
Soviet Union, the President posed the ques-
tion as to what practical step could be taken
forward toward peace. He answered himself:

» For text, see Bulletin of Sept. 19, 1966, p. 410.


I think it is to recognize that while differing
principles and differing values may always divide us,
they should not, and they must not, deter us from
rational acts of common endeavor. . . .

This does not mean that we have to become bed-
fellows. It does not mean that we have to cease
competition. But it does mean that we must both
want — and work for and long for — that day when
"nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn. war any more."

In October, just before he left for his trip
to the Far East, President Johnson spelled
all this out a bit further in a speech in New
York reviewing U.S. policy toward Europe
as a whole.^

The Atlantic allies (he said) have always tried
to maintain (a healthy balance) between strength
and conciliation, between firmness and flexibility,
between resolution and hope. . . .

A just peace remains our goal. . . . the world is
changing. Our policy must reflect the reality of
today — not yesterday. . . .

Our purpose is not to overturn other governments
but to help the people of Europe to achieve:

A continent in which the peoples of Eastern and
Western Europe work shoulder to shoulder together
for the common good.

A continent in which alliances do not confront
each other in bitter hostility, but instead provide a
framework in which West and East can act together
in order to assure the security of all.

The President then listed some new meas-
ures he intends to take to strengthen the
prospects for improved relations with the
Soviet Union and countries of Eastern Eu-
rope in trade and other fields, and he wel-
comed comparable measures on the part of
our Atlantic allies.

Why have a succession of Presidents of
different political persuasion reached essen-
tially the same conclusions? Why did Presi-
dent Johnson state our policy in the terms I
have quoted? These are questions I should
like to explore with you this morning.

I think we can start by agreeing that the
free world continues to be challenged by a
hostile political system whose leaders claim
that only that system, materialistic in con-
cept, authoritarian in character, is capable
of solving the problems besetting mankind.
They proclaim as a matter of historical in-

For advance text, see ibid., Oct. 24, 1966, p. 622.

evitability that their system is destined to
rule the world. It is a fact that Communist
regimes in the Soviet Union and Eastern
Europe pursue an ideology fundamentally
opposed to our own.

Since 1945 the conflict between the two
systems has sometimes taken the form of
trials of strength and periods of military
conflict; more often, it has been conducted
by less violent methods. That confrontation,
in broader terms, has its "defensive" and
"oflfensive" aspects, if I may use these mili-
tary terms. I propose to speak to you today
about both aspects.

Meeting Force With Force

In the course of the last 20 years the
United States has had to confront Commu-
nist violence in many parts of the world.
This we have done, and this we will do, if
necessary, again. We firmly believe that in
the nuclear age no power has the right to
impose its ideas or its system on others
through the use of arms. This is a funda-
mental lesson which all nations must learn
and abide by. We have striven to drive that
lesson home.

Accordingly, when Greece was threatened
by Communist subversion in the immediate
postwar years, the United States did not
hesitate to come to the aid of Greece. At that
time, there were many who argued that we
should not. They said that Greece was under
a conservative, indeed even a reactionary,
system not worthy of our assistance. Today,
20 years later, Greece is a thriving democ-
racy, and even the severest critics of Presi-
dent Truman's policy now agree that our
eflforts in Greece contributed to peace and
stability in the Balkans.

I need not speak to you at length about the
Korean war. Many of you assembled here to-
day took part in that conflict, and you know
well what was at stake. The United States
did not hesitate to send its young men and to
commit its resources in order to insure that
peace and stability would prevail in the
Northern Pacific. Because we did not hesi-
tate. Communist China as well as Stalin's
Russia learned, painfully and at some cost to

JANUARY 2, 1967

them, that the United States is unflinching
when faced with the threat of force.

In Europe we have made it clear to our
friends and foes that we stand by our com-
mitments. They have been tested twice in
BerUn. The United States is still in West
Berlin, and no citizen of West Berlin need
fear about his future.

There was a time during the postwar con-
frontation when the Soviet leadership, be-
cause of misguided assumptions, concluded
that the balance of power could be turned in
its favor and that the United States could be
stared down in a nuclear confrontation. So-
viet missiles were implanted not far from
here— in Cuba. But precisely because we
stood firm and fast, wisdom prevailed and
the Soviet missiles are there no longer.

Thus, painfully and gradually, a measure
of restraint has come into American-Soviet
relations. This has come about because the
Soviets have no illusions about our determi-
nation to meet force with force.

We are in the process of establishing the
same principle in Viet-Nam. The issue there
is not a local one. It pertains to the peace of
Asia and, more fundamentally, to the kind
of strategy international communism will
follow in this decade. Having learned that
overt force does not pay, some Communists
concluded that covert force may open the
gates. We are keeping them shut. It is no
secret that we believe that in keeping them
shut we are aiding not only the cause of
peace but also the arguments of those Com-
munists who have already learned that vio-
lence is not the way to global supremacy.

Had we been weak in Viet-Nam, we would
have helped the arguments of the more radi-
cal Communists who contend that covert vio-
lence is something to which the United States
cannot effectively respond. If we had not re-
sponded, we would have proven the radical
Communists right.

These periods of violence have thus dem-
onstrated — and are demonstrating in Viet-
Nam — that Communist attempts to expand
their systems by force can and will be con-
tained by the determination of the free
world. But, as I have suggested, these re-

sponses have been essentially "defensive."
And these contests have also demonstrated
that force is not a solution to the basic con-
flict between political systems.

Evolutionary Developments

In many respects the more important and
long-lasting aspect of the struggle is the one
I would describe as "offensive," despite its
less spectacular nature. I have in mind active
promotion of a process of gradual change
designed to shape the kind of world we
would all like to live in: a world of coopera-
tive communities in which ideological divi-
sions no longer create fundamental gulfs be- •
tween men and societies; a world in which |
violence gives way to the rule of law; a world
in which poverty and suffering are overcome
by worldwide efforts to improve the well-
being of man. |

Indeed, this quieter and more subtle proc-
ess has already brought about some funda-
mental evolutionary developments in the
Communist world. And the action of such
natural forces as nationalism has been en-
couraged by positive programs of developing
constructive relationships with the countries
of Eastern Europe carried on by the United
States and other Western countries for the
past decade.

The Communist world is no longer mono-
lithic. We can no longer talk of a Sino-Soviet
bloc. The first crack appeared in 1948, with
the Soviet-Yugoslav split. One- of the great
decisions in American foreign policy was
President Truman's prompt and immediate
support of the Yugoslav declaration of na-
tional independence by the provision of
large-scale military and economic aid to sup-
port this Yugoslav position.

Since then Yugoslavia has gone its own
independent way and is experimenting \vith
changes in its economic and political system
that are of importance for the Communist
world as a whole. As you probably know,
Yugoslavia has gone a long way toward a
market economy, and today the Yugoslav
leaders are debating what role the Commu-
nist party should be playing in this society,
how much dissent ought to be permitted,


what forms of human liberty should be in-
troduced into a system that once was a totali-
tarian one. Just 4 days ago, for the first time
in Communist history the g-overnment of one
of the Yugoslav provinces, Slovenia, was
forced to resign in the face of opposition in
its own parliament.

Ten years ago, both Poland and Hungary
challenged Soviet supremacy. Although the
Hungarian revolution was brutally crushed,
Poland did gain a measure of autonomy. Its
government has not broken with the Soviet
Union, and we should have no illusions about
that. Nonetheless, significant aspects of Pol-
ish life are free of Communist control. More
than 80 percent of Polish farmland is pri-
vately owned and cultivated. Collectivization
has been abandoned altogether. A measure
of freedom of expression is tolerated. Exten-
sive contacts with the West have been devel-
oped. Hundreds of young Poles are studying
in Western institutions, many of them in the
United States.

More generally, the process of fragmenta-
tion in the Communist world has been ac-
centuated by the Si no-Soviet dispute. That
dispute has dissipated the illusion of unity
which has been one of the sources of strength
of Communist ideology. It has proven not
only to the world at large but to the Com-
munists themselves that their ideology does
not insure global unity; it has proven that
national aspirations and feelings are more
powerful than doctrinal formulas.

Today the Soviet people can take little
comfort in having a Communist neighbor to
the East of them. That Communist neighbor,
with nearly four times the population of the
Soviet Union, makes no secret of its hostility
ind contempt for the Soviet Union. I often
.vonder how we would feel if one of our
leighbors had close to 700 million people,
vas developing nuclear weapons and rockets,
vas condemning our social system and laying
'laims to major portions of our territory. I
leed not recall how concerned we were about
he Soviet missiles on the small island of
]uba. Magnify that threat many times and
'ou may get a sense of how an average Rus-
ian feels.

The Sino-Soviet dispute has served to in-
crease the margin of autonomy for the East
Europeans. While generally siding with the
Soviet Union, with the notable exception of
Albania, the East Europeans have also taken
advantage of the dispute to assert greater
autonomy for themselves. This is a normal
and understandable eft^ect, typical of the in-
ternational game: Whenever a major partner
is preoccupied elsev/here, the minor partners
become more eflPective in asserting their in-
terests. In that respect the East Europeans
are no different from anyone else.

Desire for Closer Relations With the West

If I may generalize broadly, today the
East Europeans are increasingly desirous of
developing relations with the West. They
realize that the crisis they face in their econ-
omies, the need they have for more advanced
forms of science and technology, their quest
for cultural self-expression can only be satis-
fied through closer relations with the West.

This, to a large extent, is also true of the
Soviet Union. I have in mind here the Soviet
people rather than the Soviet leadership. The
leadership itself is still governed by ideologi-
cal considerations which color its approach to
the West. It is still more interested in pur-
suing the goal of fragmenting Western unity
than in seeking a general accommodation
with the West. But we should keep in mind
that Communist rule in these countries, by
their own definition, represents a monopoly
of political power in the hands of a single
party which includes only a small minority
of the population. And Russian society at
large, as I can testify through countless con-
tacts, desires to participate in the Western
civilization; it wishes to develop closer con-
tacts with the United States; it does not de-
sire to be cut off from the world by an ideo-
logical curtain.

I would be misleading you if I created the
impression that everything is rosy in the
Communist world — and I do not mean to
make a bad pun by that remark. There are
many things taking place there which we can
justly classify as retrogressive. We are un-
happy over the fact that, in the context of our

ANUARY 2, 1967

efforts to improve relations with the East, the
Czechoslovak Government has seen fit to kid-
nap a U.S. citizen who was not even in
Czechoslovakia voluntarily but was brought
in by a Soviet aircraft not scheduled to stop

We are also dismayed, as are all free men,
by the sight of distinguished Soviet writers
being tried and sent to prison because they
dared to publish in the West the products of
their creative talent. We are indignant when
American tourists in the Soviet Union are
subjected to harsh and arbitrary procedures
for trivial offenses. We are concerned by the
conflict with the Catholic Church and by
other forms of intellectual intolerance re-
cently manifested in Poland.

All of these manifestations, however, have
to be seen in their broad perspective. And the
trend, to me, seems clear : It involves a decline
in the ideological passions which have
dominated mankind in the last 100 years.

Without going into tedious historical
analysis, I think it is fair to say that the age
of ideologies has been a peculiar phenomenon
in history. It was the product of a very spe-
cial phase of European development. Many
nations, going through similar social and in-
dustrial revolutionary changes, became in-
fected by ideological attitudes.

Those of you who travel to Europe must be
struck how much less ideological the Euro-
peans have become. The same is true, I can
tell you on the basis of my personal experi-
ence, of the East Europeans and the Rus-
sians. Indeed, precisely because they were
exposed to a pernicious and dogmatic
ideology, in some respects they are even less
ideological than their West European
brothers. I remember talking not long ago to
an East European Communist professor,
whom I asked, "Why did your ideology die
so quickly?" To which he responded — and, I
repeat, he is a Communist — "Die so quickly?
I think it took too long to die." His attitude
is symptomatic of many others who, disil-
lusioned by Stalinism, embittered by per-
sistent economic and social failures of the
system, are turning to more pragmatic solu-


I think it is our role in the world today to
take advantage of the trends of thought and
of the developments which I have discussed
to shape a larger and more stable relation-
ship with some of the Communist states and "<
to encourage constructive change within. We
should not lower our guard, but we should
take advantage of every opportunity to de-
velop closer contacts and wider relations with
them in order to shape a stable world.

Our efforts to that end have not been with-
out their rewards. We helped save Yugoslav
independence during its hour of danger, and
anyone familiar with East Europe knows
that in the years that followed Yugoslavia
has had a major liberalizing impact on the
rest of the Soviet world. Under President
Eisenhower we extended economic assistance
to the Poles, and we made it easier for them
to preserve their free-enteii^rise agricultural

Trade a Two-Way Street

Taking advantage of the opportunities
which are now opening, we wish to expand
our relations with the Communist states.
Some of the restrictions on East- West trade
adopted during the earlier, more intense
phase of the cold war have now outlived their
usefulness. In proposing to Congress the
East-West Trade Relations Act,^ the Presi-
dent has taken an action designed to give
greater flexibility to the United States in
dealing with the Communist countries. The
export of military or militarily useful items
to Communist countries is effectively pro-
hibited by Allied agreement. Further restric-
tions on our trade with these states do not in
the long run deny the Communists anything;
they can obtain most of the goods concerned
in West Europe or elsewhere. Added restric-
tions do make it more difficult for us to de-
velop relations designed to shape patterns of
development that we consider favorable in
the Eastern states. At the same time they
punish our own farmers and manufacturers

■* For text of the proposed legislation, see ibid.,
May 30, 1966, p. 843.


I do not think I need to tell you that our
purpose is not a series of giveaways; rather,
our intent is to create such commercial rela-
tions that the Communist states develop
closer ties with the West, such relations that
they will increasingly be encouraged to evolve
domestically along the lines we desire. I can
assure you that the people in these countries
know how we and the Western Europeans
live. They know it is much better than the
way they live. They want to live as we do, to
have cars, adequate housing, and better

It is clear to me that it is in our interest
to take actions which help bring about a
diversion of their resources from military
and space programs to consumer goods.

Online LibraryUnited States. Dept. of State. Office of Public CoDepartment of State bulletin (Volume v. 56, Jan- Mar 1967) → online text (page 9 of 90)